It has been six weeks since EG died, and I spent forty days and forty nights in the wilderness of grief, with pain so raw that I struggled to get through the days, let alone function with any semblance of "normal." I felt like that scene in Alien--shock and grief were a monster which burst from my vital organs and took over my entire life.
The photographer at graduation last weekend took a shot of me standing against a wall, waiting for the processional, having a quiet moment after getting my students prepared to process in to the ceremony. My features looked like they were all huddled together in the middle of my face, trying to stay safe. I thought I looked pretty good, but the effects of the stress are there.
After the family drama Friday night, with all its attendant backlash here, I was surprised that I felt different on Saturday. The rawness was gone. I was still sad, especially when I went to the mall to drop Nita off for a birthday party and saw couples holding hands and spending time together or when I started up the VW and drove it to keep it running, but it was like a turned a corner in my grieving. My perspective had shifted somehow.
However, I doubt that alien grief has gotten very far. There's the potential for a sequel, I am sure. But for now, I will enjoy the relative peace.